Depanelization Cutting Techniques
Depanelization is a process step in high-volume electronics assembly production. There are six main depanelization cutting techniques currently in use, and each has its unique benefits. Hand break is suitable for strain-resistant circuits. With the help of a proper fixture, PCBs are easily ripped by people. A pizza cutter (also known as V-cut) is a rotary blade, sometimes rotating using its own motor. It is often used only for cutting huge panels into smaller ones. The equipment is cheap and requires only sharpening of the blade and greasing as maintenance. Punching is a process where single PCBs are punched out of the panel through the use of special fixture. The production capacity of such a system is high, but fixtures are quite expensive and require regular sharpening. A saw is able to cut through panels at high feed rates. It can cut both V-grooved and not-V-grooved PCBs. It does not cut much material and therefore generates low amounts of dust, but it only can cut in straight lines. All in all, it is important to specify and assembly requirements in your design files and ensure your expediency and needs are met.